Friday, January 23, 2015

 
Written by Pastor Stuppy

January 14, 2015
The State of the Union


It will only be a short time now. On Tuesday, January 20th, President Obama will deliver this year’s State of the Union address. This speech usually does three things. It looks at what has been accomplished during the last year. It reports on where we are as a nation. Third, it lays out an agenda on what the administration and President would like to do in the year ahead.

I am sure that the President will report on the many accomplishments of his administration. He will likely refer to the creation of new jobs, the drop in the unemployment rate, the improving economy, low inflation, etc. The President will also, I'm sure, say that much more needs to be done. Here he may point to, education, the infrastructure needs, and immigration reform. With recent events that have taken place in France and Iraq, with nuclear threats coming from Iran, political tensions in the Middle East, many serious concerns face our nation and the world.

As a citizen, I have an interest in and concerns about all these political issues and more. Anyone who cares about the country will want to be informed on these issues and do what they can to address them.

The issue that won’t be raised and yet is the most important is the spiritual state of our nation. I wouldn’t expect the President to address this. This is not his job. This belongs to the church and to those who make it up. Only God can give faith, make it grow and become stronger. Only God can give us the desire to do that which is right and pleasing to him. God tells us this in Philippians 2:13, "for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose."

The spiritual ‘State of the Union’ is in much need of improvement. Now, I believe that could be said any and every year. But who can make a case that things are getting better spiritually. Church attendance is down. How seldom do people talk about what the Good Book says. Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings are filled with sports practices, games, and other activities.

Morality is a subject that is taboo lest one be charged with intolerance of others. Yet is morality that brings blessing to a nation. We read this in Proverbs 14:34 (NIV) –"Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people."

What we dare not overlook is that a nation is made up of people, of individuals. Spiritual renewal begins in the heart. It is worked in us by the Holy Spirit through the Word of God. It takes place one person at a time.

To just sit back and complain how terrible things are makes us no better than the self righteous Pharisee who pats himself on the back as he prays to God. Our job politically is to get involved, to vote, to connect our representatives. Our job spiritually is to make faithful use of God’s Word. Our job is to share that Word with others. Only then can the Holy Spirit do his part. Only then will God’s blessing rest on our nation.
 
 
Written by Pastor Stuppy

February 8, 2012




Don’t Believe a Word He Says! He’s lying!



How do we know when someone is telling the truth? If we only knew that for sure! In a trial a person can enter the witness stand, place his hand on a Bible, and vow "I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God" - then turn around and lie through his teeth.

A husband or wife may be having an illicit affair and, when confronted, look their spouse straight in the eye and deny the whole thing. How do we know when someone is telling the truth? For many people, sad to say, lying is second nature. It is something that comes easily. There are some who can lie with such ease that even a lie detector can be fooled.

All such liars are rank amateurs compared to the "father of lies." Satan has the art of lying down to a science. Satan is a fallen angel. In a futile attempt he hoped to overthrow God. The Bible tells us as punishment, the Devil and his allies were thrown into hell for all eternity. His goal is to control as many souls as possible by leading them into sin and unbelief, thus taking them away from God. I guess the saying, "Misery loves company." fits no place better than here.

We might add that if Jesus hadn't been successful in resisting the temptations of the devil, in living a sinless life and then suffering and dying in our place, Satan would have gotten his wish. Without the Savior, we would all be in our sin and condemned to hell.

But, the victory of Jesus' work at Calvary hasn't kept Satan from taking countless souls to hell. It still doesn’t stop Satan from seeking to lead astray as many as he can. His plan of attack is basically the same today as it has been from the beginning.

He wants us to believe that God is a liar. His message is that we should not listen to a thing God says. The devil tells us that money is what brings true and lasting happiness. That's a lie. The devil tells us that sex before and outside of a marriage relationship is fine. That's a lie. The devil tells us that it doesn't matter which god we worship so long as we are sincere. That's a lie. The devil says that it’s alright to get drunk, take drugs, practice homosexuality, divorce your spouse for any reason you want, to abort a child for any reason whatever. These are lies.

Satan has convinced many people that what he is saying is the truth. He has gained many converts, even among Christians. He has succeeded, as he did in the Garden of Eden, in casting doubt upon the reliability of God's Word. He wants us to believe that God is a liar and not telling us the truth.

The truth of the matter is that the Devil is the one who is lying. God says of the Devil "...there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies." (John 8:44) If you want the truth, listen to God. Jesus says, "If you continue in my word, you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.(Rom. 8:31-32)" Use God's Word. Keep it in your heart. Then you will know whose telling the truth and who is not.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Written by Pastor Stuppy

January 14, 2015
The State of the Union


It will only be a short time now. On Tuesday, January 20th, President Obama will deliver this year’s State of the Union address. This speech usually does three things. It looks at what has been accomplished during the last year. It reports on where we are as a nation. Third, it lays out an agenda on what the administration and President would like to do in the year ahead.

I am sure that the President will report on the many accomplishments of his administration. He will likely refer to the creation of new jobs, the drop in the unemployment rate, the improving economy, low inflation, etc. The President will also, I'm sure, say that much more needs to be done. Here he may point to, education, the infrastructure needs, and immigration reform. With recent events that have taken place in France and Iraq, with nuclear threats coming from Iran, political tensions in the Middle East, many serious concerns face our nation and the world.

As a citizen, I have an interest in and concerns about all these political issues and more. Anyone who cares about the country will want to be informed on these issues and do what they can to address them.

The issue that won’t be raised and yet is the most important is the spiritual state of our nation. I wouldn’t expect the President to address this. This is not his job. This belongs to the church and to those who make it up. Only God can give faith, make it grow and become stronger. Only God can give us the desire to do that which is right and pleasing to him. God tells us this in Philippians 2:13, "for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose."

The spiritual ‘State of the Union’ is in much need of improvement. Now, I believe that could be said any and every year. But who can make a case that things are getting better spiritually. Church attendance is down. How seldom do people talk about what the Good Book says. Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings are filled with sports practices, games, and other activities.

Morality is a subject that is taboo lest one be charged with intolerance of others. Yet is morality that brings blessing to a nation. We read this in Proverbs 14:34 (NIV) –"Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people."

What we dare not overlook is that a nation is made up of people, of individuals. Spiritual renewal begins in the heart. It is worked in us by the Holy Spirit through the Word of God. It takes place one person at a time.

To just sit back and complain how terrible things are makes us no better than the self righteous Pharisee who pats himself on the back as he prays to God. Our job politically is to get involved, to vote, to connect our representatives. Our job spiritually is to make faithful use of God’s Word. Our job is to share that Word with others. Only then can the Holy Spirit do his part. Only then will God’s blessing rest on our nation.


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

 

Written by Pastor Stuppy

January 7, 2015
Want assurances do we have that we will have a happy new year?

Now that New Year’s Eve has come and gone once again, what will the days ahead have in store for you? I am sure that we have plans and goals. Maybe, we’re hoping to buy a new car. A promotion? A raise in our pay? A new job? Is the arrival of a new child a possibility? An addition to the house? A trip to the Super Bowl by the Dallas Cowboys? We all have things we would like to see happen in the New Year? Some of them may take place and some not.


But, what happens when things don’t go as well as we hoped? What if the new year is filled with trials and troubles? What if God’s plans for us may include adversity, loss and grief? This new year, we may lose someone we love. Our health may decline. We may be diagnosed with cancer, altsheimers, or some other disease. Our unwed son may father a child or our daughter become pregnant before marriage. We may get laid off from work or be involved in an accident that leaves us paralyzed or disabled. Some of these events or those like them may also be in our future. In fact, we can be sure of it.

How are we to face such trials and unpleasant times? Do we simply take the good with the bad? Do we grin and bear it since there is little or nothing we can do about it? Must we simply make the best of a bad situation? None of the above.

For the child of God, the future is always good. God has promised that there is nothing and no one that can separate us from his love for us in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:33-39). He has promised to give his angels charge over us to keep any harm from coming our way (Psalm 91:11). He has promised to always be with us and never forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). He has promised to answer all our prayers (Matthew 21:22). He has promised to turn every misfortune, trouble, and adversity we face in life into a blessing (Romans 8:28).

And, more importantly, when we leave this life, God has promised that the death and the grave cannot hold us (I Corinthians 15:55-56). He has promised that our sins will not condemn us (Romans 8:1), that we shall have eternal life (John 3:16).

What a way to start the New Year! What a way to start each day! What more could we ask from God than what he has promised to us. Namely, to bless us in every way. To give us good things to enjoy and to turn our so-called "troubles" into blessings.

With these assurances from God you can be certain that you will have a happy and a blessed New Year. You have God’s Word on it.

Written by Pastor Stuppy

December 30 2014

May the peace of Christ be yours in the New Year and forever!

Certainly one of the most beautiful words in the English language is the word "peace." Just the sound of the word brings comfort to the heart. The thought of peace is something many want more than anything else.

Peace is a word that is applied to many different things. To the person in pain, peace means relief. To a nation embroiled in war, peace means a stop to the fighting. To the aged and the ill peace may be finding rest in the grave. Peace means many things to many different people.

To find out what true peace is we need to go to one who is an authority on the matter. We go to Jesus. In Isaiah 9:6, the sacred writer calls him the "Prince of Peace." That is because only Jesus can bring real peace to our hearts. Without Jesus, such peace cannot be obtained.

One’s first thought when we hear the word peace is most likely war torn areas like Iraq and Israel. It seems like this area of the world has always been plagued with conflicts of one kind or another. Jesus said that until the end there will always be wars and rumors of wars. One conflict may end but others will begin.

What’s true in the world, however, is also true in our own lives. Peace, inner peace, is impossible to come by. Husbands and wives may get along for awhile but conflict is never far away. The potential for strife between parent and child is never gone either. Struggles at work, difficult decisions we must make, personal trials and problems, all seek to rob us of the peace. Even though we want it so desperately, peace, real peace, escapes us.

That’s what happens when we are looking for the wrong kind of peace and seeking to find it in the wrong place. The peace we need, real, lasting peace can only come from Jesus. As sinners, our conscience won’t let us rest. It reminds us over and over that we have sinned. We can find no peace. We are reminded that sooner or later we must stand before God on Judgment Day. Again, we can find no peace. That’s where Jesus comes in.

If you want peace, go to the Prince of Peace, to Jesus. That is why Jesus, the Christ-child, came into the world. Your Savior and mine! Rejoice! The King, the Savior, the Prince of Peace came for you and me!

There is a lot a talk about peace in the world around Christmas time and the New Year. Yet, there is no real and lasting peace without Christ. If you want real peace, look to Jesus, the Christ-child as your Lord and Savior. May this peace be yours now, in the year ahead, and forever!


 
 
 
Written by Pastor Stuppy

December 17, 2014




May the joy and happiness of Christmas be yours!




A five year old girl went out shopping with her grandfather. They had traveled to a Christmas tree farm to cut a live tree for their home. Over and over the little girl told Grandpa that she was going to pick out the perfect tree. After they arrived, Grandpa with his experienced eye led his granddaughter to some great looking trees. Once they were inspected, however, the young girl would say, "Not that one. It’s not perfect." After several hours of searching, Grandpa began to grow tired and a little impatient. He finally told her that they had to pick one out even if it is not the perfect tree. She agreed and then remarked. "Maybe we’ll find a tree with lights on it next year." This little girl had her idea of what the perfect Christmas tree should be like. It was one with lights on it. Something less than that meant disappointment.

Lots of people approach their Christmas celebration like that. They have their idea of what the perfect Christmas should be like and anything short of that leaves them disappointed. For many getting the perfect gift, having all the kids home Christmas Eve, having the yard and house decorated to the max are essential to having a really great Christmas.

No wonder so many are depressed around Christmas time – their expectations for the holidays have not been met. They have no job and have no money for paying the bills let alone buying gifts. They are in the hospital recovering from surgery. Their spouse is deployed. There will be an empty chair at the dinner table this year because Dad past away. You fill in the blank.

Isn’t that the way most of us approach our lives? We’re happy and joyous only when our lives are perfect. When our job goes well, when we feel good, when the kids are doing well in school, then life is good. When these expectations are not meant, joy and happiness flies out the window. How can someone be happy who comes back from war without a limb? How can parents not feel anything but despair when their five year old dies from cancer? What reason is there to smile when we are spending our first Christmas alone since our spouse ran off with the secretary? We’ve lost our job, our health, a loved one. Don’t all these things make it impossible to find joy and happiness especially at Christmas time?

They do if our lives are not centered on the Lord. Knowing Jesus, knowing his love and forgiveness turns things around. When we know that he will turn every trial into a blessing, the loss of our job or a loved one, while difficult to endure, can be seen as something good. God’s primary concern is not how many gifts we have under the tree or how much money we have in the bank or how big our house is. His concern is our soul.

We have every reason to rejoice when we believe that the baby born in Bethlehem is our Savior. We have every reason to be happy when we know the peace that comes from knowing that our sins are forgiven through Christ. We have every reason to look to the future with hope because God is watching over us and has promised us eternal life with all its blessings.

Our lives may not be easy. In fact, they may be down-right difficult at times. Yet our Christmas joy cannot be taken from us if it is focused on Jesus our Savior. It is joy we will have every day of our life; a joy nothing can take from us. Joy to the world! The Lord is Come!